Wednesday, October 13, 2004

American Democracy (8)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 & Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 & Going Political all need to be read first.

So, I lied, there'll be at least one extra, and possibly I'll scrape all the way to ten. Anyway, couple of points I've missed out so far.

Although small states have relatively more electoral college votes per voter, it is quite hard to win without the big states. The eleven most populous states can outvote all the rest:North Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, New York, Texas & California (271 Electoral College Votes out of 535). They have a combined population of 160,637,738 (at the last census) out of a total popultion of the USA of 281,424,177 (That's about 57%).

That means, though, if the smallest of them - North Carolina with a population of 8,067,673 were to, as it were, swap sides, then the forty states with a combined population of 128,854,112 can prevail. (Thats 45% of the total population).

Further, it takes a total of 15 of the least populous states to outvote California. California has 55 Electoral College Votes, whereas South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Idaho, Nebraska, West Virginia & New Mexico combined have 56. Between them they have a population of 14,433,311 whereas California has an assessed population of 33,930,798. I think that can stand as a stark example of the disparity in voting strength.

Obviously, it only takes a fraction of the voters in each of these states (perhaps even a minority) to deliver their whole weights. We can further add to that the fact that voting strength will inevitably be smaller than the census assessments of the state, because that includes children, and the people who died after the census (or moved away) and all those people who don't register to vote.


Blogger Ed said...


Looks like you've put me on your links bar. I'm welling up. I'll add you to my links bar too.


4:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home